As expected, The Matrix Revolutions opened number one at the weekend on a $50.2m three-day estimated gross that was certainly nothing to be sniffed at but trailed its May predecessor by some 45%.
Since opening on Wednesday to fairly dire reviews, the final episode in the Wachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy has amassed $85.5m according to Warner Bros. The weekend average was $14,321 from 3,502 sites.
The three-day total represented just over half the weekend debut of The Matrix Reloaded, which grossed $91.8m in its first three days and $134.2m in its first four.
Within the gargantuan context of the overall franchise this must be regarded as an anti-climatic domestic finale. However, the massive worldwide gross will offer the studio more than enough consolation as the US total combined with international for a stunning $204.1m record tally in five days (see separate story).
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving reprise their roles as the battle between the sentinels and human rebels reaches its conclusion.
Back on planet Earth - or at least the North Pole - New Line's Christmas romantic comedy Elf opened in second place on an impressive $32.1m.
Jon Favreau's feelgood release was a calculated piece of counter-programming that drew enthusiastic reviews and averaged a decent $9,619 from 3,337 sites.
Saturday Night Live alumnus Will Ferrell stars as a human raised as an elf who leaves his polar home to reconnect with his father, a latter-day Scrooge and Manhattan businessman played by James Caan. Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen also star.
Universal/Working Title's romantic comedy Love Actually opened sixth on $6.6m and fairly strong reviews, averaging $11,458 from 576 sites. Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Liam Neeson lead an all-star cast in Richard Curtis' directorial debut, which intertwines ten London-based romantic vignettes.
Elsewhere, Buena Vista's traditionally-animated Brother Bear performed well, falling one place to third on $18.6m for a $44.1m running total in its third week.
Dimension's Scary Movie 3 looks certain to pass $100m next week, after slipping three places to fourth and adding $11.1m for $93.4m in its third week.
Paramount's School Of Rock fell two to 10th, adding $3.2m for $73.6m in its sixth week.
Next weekend's releases include 20th Century Fox's heavyweight Oscar contender Master And Commander, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany; Warner Bros' Looney Tunes: Back In Action, a live-action and animated blend starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Brendan Fraser and Steve Martin, among others; and Paramount's rap documentary Tupac Resurrection, which features the late Tupac Shakur.Estimated Top Ten US Nov 7-Nov 9 2003
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) The Matrix Revolutions (Warner Bros) Warner Bros International $50.2m $85.5m
2 (-) Elf (New Line) NLI $32.1m -
3 (2) Brother Bear (Buena Vista) BVI $18.6m $44.1m
4 (1) Scary Movie 3 (Dimension) Miramax International $11.1m $93.4m
5 (4) Radio (Columbia) CTFDI/Revolution $7.4m $36.3m
6 (-) Love Actually (Universal) UIP $6.6m --
=7 (6) Mystic River (Warner Bros) Warner Bros/Village Roadshow $4.8m $40.5m
=7 (3) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (New Line) Radar/Focus $4.8m $73.2m
=7 (5) Runaway Jury (Fox) Fox International $4.8m $40.1m
10 (8) School Of Rock (Paramount) UIP $3.2m $73.6m